Saturday, May 28, 2011
Sabbath 2008 - * The film making process as we understand it goes like this: idea, script, find investors, hire crew and actors, preproduction, shooting, and post production. How this atrocity to the senses got past step one is overwhelmingly stupefying. The only person that comes close to acting here is David Crawford who previously had a bit part in the original "Dawn Of The Dead". Crawford plays a pedophile Reverend, just one of the ridiculous caricatures in this film. We are giving this a single star because there are a few scenes of passable gore interspersed with shots of mannequin parts covered in stage blood, and one memorable scene where two characters are smoking weed, laughing, and generally acting like they are auditioning for a remake of "Reefer Madness". What makes this scene is the entirely inappropriate music playing in the background. We couldn't stop laughing, though we're sure this was entirely unintentional on the film makers part. Otherwise the script is a mess containing characters like the grim reaper (official scythe carrying kind), an angel, and shadow demons that sort of resemble Venom from Spider-man (guys in black who crawl around on the floor). The male lead simply can't act, and his female counterpart who looks a lot like Snooki can't either. If you are an actor or member of the crew of this film and you are reading this, YOU SUCK - find another profession.
Salty Dogs 2010 - *** Now this is why we do this, sometimes all the elements come together. This ten minute short has it all, it's well shot, well acted, has effective looking zombies, and great gore effects. It was made by Ghostbandit Films, and directed by Randy Link. The film is complete below.
Santa Claus Versus The Zombies 2010 - NO STARS Steve and I have decided to favor you with an early Christmas present this year. Ready? The greatest gift you are going to receive this year is this: never watch this film!
There are films out there with bad acting performances, but this one has them uniformly throughout. Some have ludicrous plots: this one wins. It's hard to even know where to start when attempting to summarize this films' shitiness. It touts itself as a comedy on the IMDB, and indeed it tries to be for the first ten minutes. The highlight of the humor revolves around a guy named Dick, and is exactly as funny as you'd think. The plot then devolves into a drama that jumps back and forth between a family who are trapped in a house with a hired Santa and his elves during a zombie outbreak, and an emergency base where the President of the U.S. and members of his military are trying to solve the zombie problem. The casting of the family is hilarious, as the Mother and Father are maybe five years older than the girl playing their daughter. Now the Santa Claus of the title may be an actor or the bona fide Kris Kringle, and one of his elves may truly be an elf or a drunk. The script itself has the cast speaking in ways that no one in real life does. This is not uncommon in a self produced and directed genre film such as this, but this one is the most glaring examples.
This is also the only zombie film that we can remember that has no gory violence. Blood is shown twice. Even the title is misleading as Santa only destroys two zombies with some magical power he conjures from his hands. He does it once and, then inexplicably, it is never referred to again. Later, though, he does kick a zombie in the balls, and attacks them using a makeshift gun that shoots small stuffed animals. Most of the middle of the film revolves around the President having to ward off a coup led by one of his Generals. There are long scenes of characters spouting political rhetoric in settings that are obviously low budget sets, and some of the worst CGI effects in recent memory. There is just so much nonsense in this movie. In some scenes there is computer generated snow falling, in the next you can plainly see it is Summer where they are filming. Add to this talking zombies that look like Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf, and you have a film that had us checking our watches in disbelief that time could pass so slowly.
This movie was written and directed by George Bonilla who has also released the "Zombie Planet" films upon the world. Mr. Bonilla if you read this, we would submit that maybe this is not the occupation for you. We cannot emphasize enough that you save yourself 100 minutes of your life, and spend that time doing something worthwhile like flushing the toilet more than is strictly necessary.
Shadow: Dead Riot 2006 - *1/2 A.K.A. "Dead Riot". This film isn't as bad as some reviewers would have you believe. While it is true that Tony Todd is slumming, and it is more of a voodoo priest/serial killer/lesbian prison film than a zombie film, it does have its moments.You don't see a single zombie until the 60 minute mark, and then for only about 15 minutes, but these scenes are pretty good. The make-up is believable, there are some decent gore effects, and our old friend Bill Hinzman shows up in the zombie pack. Try to ignore the zombie that knows Kung Fu. We certainly wouldn't recommend this film to try and satisfy your undead cinematic needs, but if you're looking for a very B movie that contains a lot of nudity, and some innovative scenes of gore, you could do a lot worse than this one. If you can find the grindhouse version that was released as "Dead Riot" so much the better, it just feels right for this movie as the trailer demonstrates.
Sick 2012- *** Canadians have been producing the finest zombie films of late. While original and fresh, there is a clear sense of homage to Romero in Director Ryan M. Andrews vision. This is a must see for the zombie enthusiast. This is the kind of film that we wish for here, a nice slice of life piece revolving around three characters trying to make it through the apocalypse. It is hard to review this without giving away spoilers, but here is what we can tell you. A scientist trying to find the solution to the outbreak leaves her safe compound on a mission of her own design. On the way she runs into two men from a survivor's camp, and together they hole up in a house to try and survive the night. While the film was shot on a modest budget, and some of the acting suspect, the tale here is what matters. There is actually very little zombie action onscreen, but the plot makes the trip wholly worthwhile. The surprise ending has a twist that few will see coming, and ultimately makes this well worth your viewing time.
Stalled 2013 - **The zombie comedy is really becoming a mainstay in the genre as ideas are running out for the primary horror aspect. Not only is this tale quite funny at times, but it can definitely be considered a Christmas zombie film as well.
The story revolves around a newly unemployed janitor/handyman in an office building being trapped in a toilet stall when the apocalypse begins during a Christmas party. He develops a friendship with a woman named Heather trapped a couple of stalls down, and together they try to find a way to escape and survive.
The gore here is not over the top and overt, but is sufficient. The focal point is on the dialogue between the trapped twosome, and the revealing of their personal stories. This film is just a decent way to spend some time in a genre that is rapidly becoming ever more tedious, and is definitely worth a viewing.
State Of Emergency 2010 - * This is a seldom heard of, fast zombie of the infected variety, little film.The reason why no one has ever heard of it? It is quite simply bland. From the one note performance of Jay Hayden, who portrays the main protagonist Jim, to the make-up on the zombies - it is just so fucking bland. True, it has a modest 1.3 million dollar budget, but there has been so much more done with so much less. The plot and the effects offer nothing new or exciting, and the flashbacks to Jim's relationship with his wife offer the most obvious lack of chemistry since Anakin and Padme. The characters here are largely unlikable, the script lacks humor, and the ending is as contrived as the movie itself seems endless. There is not a single reason we can think of to recommend this one to you.
Steve Nile's Remains 2011 - * We haven't read the graphic novel this is based on but we're pretty sure we would enjoy it more than this made for TV snooze fest. This film was produced by the Network "Chiller" in the U.S. It is filled with the familiar and predictable, with the usual group of survivors trapped in a bar in Reno and trying to come up with a means of escape. The new plot twist here is that the zombies sleep at night. Yeah you read that right, they sleep standing up. Do our protagonists take proper advantage of this, sneak past them to the nearest car, and fuck off? Of course not, they find clumsy ways of making noise so that they wake them up. Why the screen writers thought this was a good innovation escapes us. Where is the jeopardy if you can waltz right past the undead while they take a fucking nap? The violence and effects are exactly what we have come to expect from these made for TV projects, too little and not very convincing. The best way to describe this film is bland and inoffensive, the Hoobastank of zombie films. One really has to wonder why the networks bother delving into the genre with so many limitations in their way. Hey Mr. Television Producer, do everyone a favor and leave the zombie film making to the studios. Only worth a viewing if it's free.
Stripperland 2011 - **1/2 Sometimes a B movie such as this provides you an opportunity to see something unique and unusual like Daniel Baldwin as the world's biggest Hip Hop star. Not that you ever wanted to see it necessarily, it's just unique. This film is essentially a scene by scene rip off of "Zombieland" with elements of the zombie porn film, "Night Of The Giving Head" thrown in. As a spoof of "Zombieland" it is actually well done, and has several clever, amusing moments. Our primary complaint is that it follows a disturbing trend that pops up as of late; little or no nudity. This is a direct to video release, there is no rating system to worry about, it is about zombie strippers - therefore isn't it in your best interests to include bare breasts for your largely younger male audience? The good news is that there is a copious amount of gore that is, for the most part, very well done, and Linnea Quigley shows up to kick some ass. If we have one complaint at all it is that the film marginalizes women and strippers in particular. Yeah right, just fucking with you.
Posted by guttercat at 9:14 PM